Can You Write?


By: Mia L. Hazlett

Writing and editing are going to be you


r top daily tasks as an EA. So ask yourself, how are your writing and editing skills? When I first began as an EA, I thought my writing and editing were unquestionable. I wrote blogs and stories, authored a book and considered myself a writer.

What I failed to realize, business writing requires a totally different set of writing and editing skills. When I craft a story, there are outlines, drafts, character development, and I can walk away from it and come back in a day or two, three, …

That’s not how it works when you work for the C-level office. Sometimes you have all day, but most of the time it is only hours. Depending on what is being sent, there is no time for all the preparation. Most of the time I’m editing what is already written, but there are the times when I’m pulling from a general idea of the message to convey.

Because it was such a huge part of my job, I took business writing courses. I also read the material my bosses wrote, so I could copy their style. I’ve found the key to good business writing, brevity. Whether email or letters, you need to be quick and to the point, but you must do it with your boss’ voice.

Nowadays, it’s about the email. Your email is probably going to have the formal letter attached. I rarely mail anything through snail mail these days. So no matter how polished that letter may be, they are going to read the email first.

Here’s some things that have brought my little typos to my attention when I proofread:

  • Do it at about 250x magnification,
  • Read it backwards,
  • Read it aloud,
  • Printing it,
  • Actually proofreading.

Most of the time, your email or letter are going to be the only thing people read that represent your office. Nine times out of ten there is some sort of ask related to the correspondence. It is imperative your writing represents your office in the best light.

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